Best Selling Author Actively Pirating His Own Book — Finds It Helps Sales Tremendously

We’ve been seeing more and more examples lately of content creators recognizing how they benefit from giving away their content for free. What’s most amusing, however, is that every time we point out an example, people work extra hard explaining why that case is a special case. When we discussed less-well-known musicians giving away music, we were told that it would never work for megastars. When we discussed megastars giving away music, we were told it would never work for indie musicians. The same is true in other areas as well. When we recently wrote about an author giving his book away for free, someone angrily emailed to let us know that this only made sense because no one had ever heard of that author — so it was purely a promotional effort by a new author.

Yet, apparently, it also works for well-known authors. TorrentFreak points us to the news that Paulo Coelho is such a fan of giving his book away for free that he’s even set up his own blog called Pirate Coehlo where he points to where you can download various translations of his best selling book The Alchemist. Coelho explained all of this in a recent talk he gave:


What Coelho quickly discovered was that the more his book was available for free, the more sales of the actual book increased. As an example, he cites the Russian translation of his book, where it went from only 1,000 sales to well over 100,000 in a period of two years, and has only continued to grow since then. It’s yet another good example of someone embracing how giving away content for free can help them earn more money. And, it highlights (again) that, whether you’re well known or a nobody, you can use these tactics to your advantage.

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